The Curious Case Of Delmon Young


If I told you your favorite team could have a player who had a career minor league OPS of .880, hit .316/.341/.474 in AAA as a 20 year old, and was a former #1 overall pick, you’d be pretty excited right? Sure he struck out nearly 3 times more than he walked over his minor league career, but his tools were amazing and he had a bright future ahead of him.

Now, let’s say said player was a cross between Juan Pierre, Adam Dunn and Nomar Garciaparra. You’d be even more excited right? I mean Pierre isn’t the best hitter, but he sure is fast and is great in the outfield (ok, just pretend we’re talking about the 2006 version of Pierre, when he was worth over 14 runs in the OF). Adam Dunn? I don’t like that he strikes out a lot, but he can walk and hit for power, so that’s ok. And Nomar? Well hell he doesn’t know how to take a pitch, but in his prime he would hit frozen ropes all over the place.

Well, Delmon is a combination of those three alright. Except, whereas Juan Pierre is terrible with the bat and was one time good with the glove, Delmon’s UZR/150 in 2008 was -14.9. This year it is -31.4. His glove cost the team 16.4 runs last year. Adam Dunn strikes out at a higher clip than Young (32.4% to 24.8%) Dunn balances in some walks (17.1%), while Young is allergic to them (4.3%). Nomar famously swung at a lot of first pitches, but he never had a full season total where he swung at 60% of the pitches he saw. Delmon’s only year where he didn’t swing at 60% of his pitches was last year, at 59.7%. Nomar was also thrown a lot more strikes than Delmon: He only once swung at more than 30% of pitches thrown to him outside the strike zone. Young’s career low is 39.9%

So he has no plate discipline, doesn’t walk (obviously), can’t hit for power, and can’t play defense. Sweet trade Bill Smith.